As a marketer, it’s not enough to simply keep your clients treading water. Traffic, conversions, engagement-sure, all these things are great. But to provide sustainable value, you have to help your clients beat out their competition on a regular basis. Often, that means going against the grain.
For example, as recently as last year marketers were falsely predicting email’s demise. But the most successful marketers realized that while email marketing was evolving, it wasn’t any less valuable. In fact, it’s even more important. And now those who recently banished email are scrambling to rebuild their email marketing strategy and keep up with those who ignored the unfounded warnings. To be clear: The future of email marketing isn’t just bright, it’s on fire. And there is no shortage of innovative options for setting your clients apart.
Here are five trends to keep in mind as you close out the first quarter of 2016 and prepare your clients’ email strategy for the rest of the year.
We all know a guy who calls everybody “buddy” because he doesn’t remember anyone’s name. Friendly guy, sure, but do you trust him to have the slightest clue about your interests?
Making customers know they’re not just another mark is a proven way of getting a foot in the door. Just putting the client’s first name at the top of the email increases the click-through rate from about 5.8 percent to 7 percent, according to HubSpot. But personalization is more than that. Today, it’s about using all the data you have to predict a prospect’s next move and deliver the right offer before they seek it out on their own.
There’s just not enough time in the day to do everything you want to do, so let specialized automation software take care of repetitive tasks. They don’t ask for raises or call in sick on deadline day, and they can prioritize and streamline your marketing outreach. Triggered emails, for example, are a great use of automation. If a prospect fills out a contact form, a simple automated message letting them know you’ve received their request and the approximate amount of time before they’ll hear back can drive trust in your brand.
Today’s most popular email communication isn’t just read, it’s played. Videos that have embedded hotspots-tags that allow your customers to click links or mouse over objects-engage subscribers. So do games, puzzles, quizzes and other interactive email features that allow consumers to design their own products and then buy them through the email.
Remember, there can be too much of a good thing. Don’t turn your email into an arcade, or the client might forget why they’re there.
4. Multi-Device Design
Where do you check your email? Your desktop? Or your mobile device?
Technology has made rapid advances in creating platforms that support the latest in HTML and CSS features. In some cases, you don’t even need to bother your developer. By using drag-and-drop email technology, nearly anyone can create beautiful, clean and mobile-friendly emails.
The progeny of the often-despised pop-up, lightboxes are more effective than annoying. By darkening the background as the box pops up, it draws the client’s sole focus. Focus is good. It gives you an opportunity to make a quick pitch and get the information you need to help personalization.
Finding lightbox software that you can customize to fit your look and your brand, while giving the option of selecting location, timing and frequency, allows you to grow inbound marketing with seamless transition from emails to landing pages and more.
Your client’s prospects expect more from email. Use the five opportunities above, and you’ll be sure to exceed their expectations and keep them coming back for more.
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